Translation can be a fulfilling and rewarding (emotionally and financially) freelance career. But what sets the big earners apart from the rest of the sector? What do they do differently and what do they have in common?
As is the case for many freelancers, knowing your worth in the translation industry is essential. Your skills and abilities are in demand, so be sure to price them appropriately. Benchmark your rates against those of your competitors and consider what added value services you can provide that go over than above those offered by the competition. Standing out in this way is something that can command higher rates.
Many of the big earners in the translation industry have a language pairing or specialist translation knowledge (such as legal translation) that is in demand. This means they can charge a premium for their services.
Many big earners also work at an extremely fast pace. However, speed is no good if it is at the expense of quality and what sets these translators apart is their ability to work fast and still maintain a high level of accuracy. It is this combination of skills that allows them to charge their clients more than other translators.
Don’t be afraid to rely on specialist software in order to increase your productivity. This doesn’t mean turning to machine translation, but consider using software that includes translation memory and terminology management in order to boost your daily output and thus your daily income.
It may sound strange, but being happy while you work will also help you to earn more, particularly as a freelancer. A study conducted under laboratory conditions by the University of Warwick in the UK in 2014 found that happiness increases productivity by 12%. In theory, that means that a happy freelancer can earn 12% more than one who is feeling neutral about their work.
What other things do you think the translation industry’s big earners have in common? What are your own tips for boosting your translation earnings? Share your thoughts via the comments.